It was a wild weekend in the Official Basketball Association as the Madison Mavericks came away sitting in playoff position.
The Mavericks went 1–1 on the weekend during a road trip through Minneapolis and Iowa.
Twin Cities Elite
The Mavericks started the weekend with a matchup against the Twin Cities Elite (4-4 OBA North). Humid conditions in the Twin Cities and the lack of ventilation inside the dome made for a hectic environment that both teams had to battle through.
In the heat of the moment, the game turned out to be an instant classic.
Chris Costello led the charge for the Mavericks, finishing with a game-high 26 points after being nearly unstoppable with the ball inside. Costello converted on 10 field goals inside the paint.
Stavon Staples provided the perfect punch to compliment Costello’s ability to attack the rim, staying hot from beyond the arc with six 3-pointers in the game and 24 points. The two guards accounted for 50 of the Mavericks 94 points.
Down 91–94 with under 30 seconds left to play, the Mavericks came out and executed on a beautiful set play that led to a wide-open Costello 3-pointer after an intelligent extra swing-pass from point guard Shareef Smith. The three tied the game at 94 with nine seconds left to play.
On the ensuing possession, the Twin Cities Elite managed to draw a foul and shoot a pair of free throws at the line. After converting on the first, Twin Cities missed the second free throw and gave the Mavericks a chance to win the game on the final shot.
The Mavericks quickly and effectively moved the ball up the court to find an open Smith cutting to the basket. But, it was the excellent defense from No. 20 on Twin Cities Elite to come across the lane and get the block for his team.
Costello was able to secure the blocked ball in the corner and get a shot off while falling out of bounds, but his desperation heave came up short. The final score of the game was 94-95 in favor the Twin Cities Elite.
Unfortunately for the Twin Cities Elite, they played with an ineligible player who was not on the roster — resulting in a forfeit of the game that gave the Mavericks the win. The ineligible player had 19 points for the Twin Cities Elite.
Sunday evening featured a major matchup between two teams battling for second place in the North.
The Mavericks seemed to be in control of the game heading into the fourth quarter, but it was the comeback kids of CedarValley who stole the show.
After leading 82–73 at the start of the final quarter, the Mavericks slowly watched their lead dwindle away to nothing.
Despite only making eight field goals, the CourtKings were able to create a 19-point swing in the fourth quarter, mainly from the free throw line. The CourtKings shot 25 free throws and converted on 20 in the fourth quarter alone.
CedarValley shot 34 more free throws than the Mavericks in the entire game. The CourtKings finished the game 43-for-56 from the free throw line. The Mavericks had two players foul out and four technical fouls assessed to their team.
It was stark contrast from the Mavericks who shot just four free throws in the fourth quarter and converted on three of them. The Mavericks finished the game shooting 16-for-22 from the free throw line.
Madison was red hot shooting through the first three quarters but went cold at the end of the game. The Mavericks only managed eight points in the first eight minutes of the fourth which did not help the cause.
The CourtKings did an effective job of getting to the line. They were able to get easy buckets from the free throw line and take the Mavericks out of rhythm.
The final score from Waterloo, Iowa was 99-109 in favor of the CourtKings.
Where We Stand
The Mavericks finished 1-and-1 on the weekend to improve to 5-and-3 on the year. This weekend also marked the halfway point in the OBA season.
Every team in the OBA will have the week off to regroup for the second half of the season. The current OBA North standings are as follows — No. 1 Next Level Grind Titans (6-1 OBA North), No. 2 CedarValley CourtKings (5-2), No. 3 Madison Mavericks (5-3) and No. 4 Minneapolis Reign (5-4). The top four teams advance to the playoffs.
The Mavericks will be back in action at Warner Park on June 5 when they take on Rochester United (2-5 OBA North). Tickets will be available for purchase on the Mavericks’ Facebook page.